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CHOGM 2015: PM announces package of support for small island developing states to tackle climate change

Monday November 30th, 2015

With days to go before world leaders gather in Paris, the Prime Minister has set out a comprehensive package of climate change support for the Commonwealth’s small island countries at the Commonwealth Summit in Valletta.sky_5669440Med

The Prime Minister announced a multi-million pound package to support small island countries to preserve their marine environments and tap into maritime resources to catalyse economic development in a sustainable way across Commonwealth countries. The maritime economy is often a primary source of income for these countries – with untapped potential in their tourism, shipping and fisheries industries.

The Government will provide £5.6m in funding next year from its overseas aid budget which will be targeted at developing maritime economy plans with additional funding on offer for future years to help these countries implement their plans. This will include providing funding for technical experts from the UK Hydrographic office to locate valuable marine resources and mitigate the hazards to shipping that would otherwise make the exploitation of those resources uneconomical.

The Government has also announced new initiatives to help countries protect themselves from the risks of climate change and to access more global climate finance. These include £15m to help extend an international disaster risk insurance fund to the Pacific Islands – helping these countries to access rapid finance in the event of natural disasters or reduce the worst affects of a slow onset disaster such as drought.

Furthermore, the Government welcomed the announcement from Lloyds of London that eight Lloyd’s syndicates are joining forces and committing $400m to develop new solutions to help developing economies tackle underinsurance and improve their resilience against the economic impact of natural catastrophes.

Speaking ahead of the summit’s session on climate change, the Prime Minister said:

“We have a real opportunity to get the small island states that are so vulnerable to climate change on board for an ambitious global climate change deal in Paris.

“Britain is firmly committed to helping these countries deal with the effects of climate change and that’s why we’re announcing new support to help protect them from the risks of climate change and to make the most of their natural maritime advantages which are so vital to their economies.”

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